Old Trafford club to be part of poignant tournament.
The Premier League have announced a four-team U12 tournament to be held in Ypres next month, to educate the game’s future players and honouring the footballers who fought in the first world war.
The Christmas Truce Tournament will be held at the home of Belgium’s KVK leper on the weekend of December 3 and 4.
Teams from Manchester United, Borussia Dortmund, Lens and Racing Genk compete in a round-robin format before a final and third-place play-off.
Ypres was at the centre of a number of intense battles during the first world war.
But on December 24, 1914, British and German troops declared a ‘Christmas Truce’, singing carols and exchanging gifts and – it was reported – playing football.
In a statement released this morning, the Premier League said the tournament has two key objectives of “player development and education”.
Away from the football, a number of cultural events have been planned, with the Manchester United players visiting the Menin Gate Memorial for the last post ceremony.
The four sets of players will also attend a dinner, aiming to recreate the spirit of 1914, while the players will also exchange gifts, just as the troops did 97 years ago.
“This is an opportunity for the next generation to honour heroes of the past, and build for the future,” said Ged Roddy, Director of Youth at the Premier League.
“We will be using the Christmas Truce Tournament to foster the development of closer relationships between European clubs.”